Diaphanisation and other in vitro endodontic models (i.e., plastic blocks, micro-CT reconstruction, computerised models) do not recreate real root canal working conditions: a more realistic endodontic model is essential for testing endodontic devices and teaching purposes. The aim of this study was to describe a new technique to construct transparent teeth without decalcifying and evaluate the micro-hardness of so treated teeth. Thirty freshly extracted teeth were randomly divided into three groups as follows: 10 non-treated teeth (4 molars, 3 premolars, 3 incisors; control group - G1), 10 teeth were diaphanised (4 molars, 4 premolars, 2 incisors - G2) and 10 teeth were treated with the new proposed technique (2 molars, 6 premolars, 2 incisors - G3). Vickers hardness tester (MHT-4 and AxioVision microscope, Carl Zeiss, 37030 Gottingen, Germany - load=50 g, dwell time=20s, slope=5, 50× magnification) was used to determine microhardness (Vickers Hardness Number - VHN). Statistical analysis was performed using the Intercooled Stata 8.0 software (Stata Corporation, College Station, TX, USA). Only groups 1 and 3 could be tested for hardness because diaphanised teeth were too tender and elastic. Differences in enamel VHN were observed between G1 (mean 304.29; DS=10.44; range 283-321) and G3 (mean 318.51; DS=14.36; range 295.5-339.2) - (p<0.05); differences in dentine VHN were observed between G1 (mean 74.73; DS=6.62; range 63.9-88.1) and G3 (mean 64.54; DS=5.55; range 51.2-72.3) - (p<0.05). G3 teeth presented a slightly lower VHN compared to G1, probably due to some little structural differences among groups, and were dramatically harder than the diaphanised teeth. The described technique, thus, can be considered ideal for testing endodontic instruments and for teaching purposes.
- Transparent tooth roots
- Vickers Hardness Number